Day 15 - Somme Battlefields

Started the day at the Adelaide Cemetery and on to Villers-Bretonneux. The boys are fortunate today to have a highly knowledgable guide, Vic, sharing the history and statistics of this amazing part of the world. 

The Thiepval memorial site for the 77000 missing British soldiers.

At Beaumont Hamel we walked through the trenches and down to the frontline to the "Danger Tree".  The Canadians had 93% casualties at the battle on this site. 

On to the Windmill site of Pozieres where the Australians took back the ridge from the Germans, a very important site for the Australians. 

Last stop at Lochnagar Crater Memorial in memory of the courage and suffering that took place here on 1st July 1916.

 

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Day 14 - Travel day Dover to Calais

A rainy windy day and snow again for our visit to Tower of London before leaving London. 

The group toured through the Tower of London exploring the various towers and seeing the Crown Jewels. No group photo sorry due to the weather conditions.

A quick lunch and on the buses for the drive to Dover for our ferry to Calais.  the ferry was delayed about 3 hours and after some thoughts we wouldn't get across today, we were called into the ferry and sailed across to Calais. We met snowy roads on the drive to the hotel, but all safely checked in about 11pm.

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Day 13 - London 10th Dec

We woke early today to challenging weather...snow! We got on the road to see as much of London as we could. Starting at Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, Big Ben and up to Trafalgar Square in what was now heavy rain. 

Lunch stop was at the famous Borrough Market, providing the group with a huge variety of foods to choose from especially the yummy pulled pork rolls.

A shopping stop at Lilywhites a very large sports and clothing store, with some buying dry socks! 

Then the afternoon at Lords, the home of Cricket. Amazing to see the normally green pitch covered in about 10cm of snow. What a great tour the boys had sitting in the Visitors change rooms hearing many stories about the Aussies and other visiting teams. a walk through the museum, the grandstand and up into the media centre before seeing the MCC Cricket Academy and a quick souviner shop to finish

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Day 12 - Match 6 London GAA and Wembley

The sun was shinning, although on a frozen pitch, for our matches against the London GAA at Greenford. 

Both matches were played in good spirited contested battles, won by Wanderers.  Our most impressive performance for our final game abroad showing the amazing improvements from the boys from game 1 to game 6. A great way to finish out match program.

The club provided a light lunch before we boarded the buses to head to Wembley. 

The boys were in awe of Wembley an amazing stadium. Tottenham gave us a few exciting goals beating Stoke 5-1. This was a great experience for the group to see two good teams and their supporters in such a venue. 

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Day 11 - Cotswolds

Today after breakfast we headed to the beautiful Cotswolds region near Cheltenham. A couple of brief stops at Burford and Stow before lunch at the Hollow Bottom Pub in Guitting Power. 

Following a great lunch we presented team and fun awards with the whole group of 96. We then walked through the small town of Guitting Power to St Michaels church.

Returning back to London stopping at Westfields for dinner and a little shopping. 

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Match 5 - Skerries College

Our last games in Ireland, played Wednesday afternoon at Skerries College. 

We had a great afternoon of footy to finish our games in Ireland. With the school crowd out to watch well contested games, both were fairly even with both Wanderers teams just ahead at the final whistle.

Skerries were great hosts and all players thoroughly enjoyed the games and the hospitality. Following the presentations we were fed a great chicken curry & rice before heading back to the hotel. 

 

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Match 2 - Monaleen Game 2

We are back st Limerick University on a chilly Sunday afternoon for our second game against Monaleen. 

What a great afternoon of footy. The boys came out firing, attacking and using the ball freely. Monaleen put up a good battle. The Aussie boys were better accustomed with the round ball maintaining a small lead and with the extra experience with the Sherrin we kicked away in the last quarter to take the win.

Again the boys went home with their hosts post match for a warm shower and dinner before us all meeting up at the Monaleen clubhouse for presentations. 

Thank you Monaleen GAA for being great hosts.

 

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Match 2 -Monaleen Game 1

Arriving at the Limerick University for our first of two matches against Monaleen. The Uni field is a great astro turf facility where we played under lights. The team faced a well rehearsed Monaleen side who skipped away to a lead with the round ball, which a galant Wanderers could not work back even with a Sherrin in the final quarter and we fell short at the final whistle.

After the match the boys went to their host families for dinner before returning to the Monaleen clubhouse for some disco & mingling time, and attempted singing.

The boys are enjoying time with host families and spending Sunday with a sleep in and a family day with their hosts. We are back at the Uni again later today for our 2nd game against Monaleen.

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Match 1 - Lucan Sarsfield

Tonight both teams played their first match against Lucan Sarsfield. We we welcomed by Australian Ambassador Richard Andrews before the game.

Both games were played in great spirit and while no scores are recorded, generally the Irish dominate with the round ball and when we bring out the Sherrin for the 4th quarter the Aussies do well. As the game went on our boys improved their use of the round ball. After the games we were hosted with a hot meal and some presentations. Thank you Lucan Sarsfield once again.

 

Game 1

Game 1

Game 2

Game 2

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Day 4 Dublin

Starting the day at -2 degrees we picked up the boys from their billets and went to Howth, a seaside town with great views over the Atlantic.  

Early lunch stop at Grafton St, a shopping mall in Dublin. Followed by a drive to another seaside town of Bray where the boys found some grass for an impromptu training session before tonight's first games at Lucan Sarsfield.

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Days 1-3

After departing Australia we all met up in Dubai and arrived in Dublin to a sunny but chilly 5 degrees about 11am Wednesday. Lunch stop at a shopping mall, the boys buying gloves for their games and a kick of the footy at Phoenix Park before checking into our hotel for the first night.

Thursday morning we visited Croke Park with 82300 capacity, third largest in Europe/UK. After lunch we toured the Jeanie Johnston famine ship where the boys learnt about the difficult times of the famine era and families migrating out of Ireland to new beginnings. Tonight we met our billets at Lucan Sarsfield and the boys headed home with their temporary families for 2 nights. 

 

Croke Park

Croke Park

Change rooms

Change rooms

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Change rooms

Change rooms

Jeanie Johnston famine ship

Jeanie Johnston famine ship

Morning workout

Morning workout